Ulster County Highpoint Trip Report

Slide Mtn (4,180 ft)

Date: June 28, 2008
Author: Brennan Connelly

In looking through all of the previous TRs for Ulster, Dan Case's appealed to me the most, as I was not interested in a 6 mile round-trip hike that only gains 2,000 feet. I followed his suggestion of using the Burroughs Range Trail and I had the intention of returning on the Ormsby Trail but stupidly left my map in the car, so I used the Burroughs both ways, reclimbing Cornell and Witterburg, hence why I gained 4500 feet on a peak that is less than 4200 geet. Oh, it was also unbelievably hot, muggy, and buggy.

A few things to consider:

  1. The sign at the TH says that Slide is 5.9 miles.
    Well, they were only off by 1.2 miles or so.

  2. The trail is rocky, rooty, and has a bunch of ledges to surmount that range from 5 to 40 feet.

  3. There really aren't any great views, save for a few quick vantages
    here and there. What the trail lacks in views, it makes up for in ledginess (See #2).

Anyhow, park at the TH parking near the end of West Valley Rd and is at 1420 feet. You might want to pay the $5 parking fee beforehand in order to avoid receiving a nasty-gram. The trail starts across the road and to the left and is blazed red. After crossing a bridge, the trail gains a couple of hundred feet quickly and reaches a trail register at 1700 feet. The trail then alternates between steep climbs and long stretches of flats.

At 2.6 miles, the trail reaches a junctions and goes right. At 3.9 miles, reach Wittenburg Peak (3780 feet), which has some views and lots of bugs. The trail then drops down to a col at 3480 feet or so and then surmounts some big ledges up to Cornell (3860 feet) at 4.7 miles. The trail then starts dropping into the col with Slide, which looms large a couple of miles away. Unfortunately, the col is at 3260 feet, which entails a 900-foot climb up to Slide at 7.1 miles.

Slide has a very anticlimactic summit, which is summed up by a chunk of concrete being the most exciting feature. The reclimbs of Cornell and Wittenburg are not overly fun.

On the plus side, I saw very few people on the way up and, while I saw many more on the way down, they were fairly well spread out. If I were to do this again, I'd do it in the Fall or Winter when it wasn't 85 degrees and when the black flies were dead. I would also complete the loop with the Ormsby which is about the same distance but saves about 900 feet of gain on the return. I guess I also answered my question as to whether or not I was ready for some bigger hikes after a winter wasted working.

Hike statistics: 14.2 miles in 7 hours 20 minutes with 4,520 feet of gain.